West Fertilizer Plant Lawsuits Filed Over Devastating Explosion in Texas

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By: Irvin Jackson | Published: April 25th, 2013

Following a devastating fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas last week, a number of lawsuits have been filed against the owners of the plant, alleging negligence led to the blast that has been blamed for at least 14 deaths.  

Andrea Jones Gutierrez filed a lawsuit in McLennan County District Court this week, suing Adair Grain Inc., which owned the West, Texas fertilizer plant that exploded last week.

Adair Grain, which does business as West Texas Fertilizer Co., also faces a personal injury lawsuit from Bridgett Bowles and her husband, Roger, in 170th State District Court in Waco.

Gutierrez was a resident of an apartment complex blown apart by the tremendous blast, which occurred shortly after a fire broke out at the plant. The single mother lost her family’s belongings in the devastation and is seeking up to $1 million in compensation.

Bowles’ jaw was broken by the blast, which also blew out her eardrum. She also is seeking damages for lost property as well.

A third lawsuit has been filed in McLennan by several businesses and two churches, as well as their insurance companies, seeking damages caused by the accident. The plaintiffs are still assessing how much was lost in the explosion, which they say was caused by negligent operation of the facility that led to an unreasonably dangerous environment.

The investigation into the fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer plant in West, Texas has not yet revealed the cause, but the plant held 270 tons of ammonium nitrate and 110,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia. The latter can be set off by water, and the explosion occurred after firefighters responded to a fire at the plant.

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